9:00am PT by Dave Nemetz
'Game of Thrones' Grim Reaper Report: The Secret of the Ooze
[Warning: This story contains spoilers for the season six finale of HBO’s Game of Thrones, “The Winds of Winter.”]
Every week on Game of Thrones, someone dies… and unfortunately, it’s rarely the person we want to see dead. Here, in the Grim Reaper Report, we tally up the fatalities from each week’s episode and choose who we’d rather see going to that King’s Landing in the sky.
Sunday's Game of Thrones season finale was extra long — which meant plenty of time for extra deaths! Actually, compared with the relentless bloodbath that was the "Battle of the Bastards,” the finale’s body count was relatively modest. But don’t tell that to the King’s Landing coroner. Because that guy was busy.
We already knew that attending a wedding in Westeros is hazardous to your health. Now we can add trials to that list. (In fact, just stay away from public functions altogether.)
The unwitting citizens of King’s Landing packed into the Great Sept to witness the trial of Loras and Cersei. The High Sparrow was there, along with Margaery and her father, Mace Tyrell. Loras, looking positively Reek-ish, confessed to his crimes and devoted himself to the Seven, getting a star carved into his forehead for his trouble. But where was Cersei? The High Sparrow wasn’t concerned. But when Cersei is smugly drinking a glass of wine, dressed like Darth Vader and gazing out of a window like Michael Corleone? You should be concerned.
Turns out Cersei had the ultimate ace up her sleeve: wildfire, that combustible green ooze that swung the Battle of the Blackwater back in season two. As Lancel discovered (too late), Cersei had rigged a few dozen barrels of the stuff to explode underneath the Great Sept during the trial. That vaporized Lancel, the High Sparrow, Margaery, Loras, Mace...and a few hundred gawkers who just had nothing better to do that afternoon. But hey, all hail Queen Cersei, right?
Plus, before the neon green devastation, that doddering old goat Grand Maester Pycelle met his maker at the hands of Qyburn and his “little birds.” The child spies pounced on the flatulent fool like a pack of jackals, brutally stabbing him to death. Fare thee well, Pycelle: At least in heaven, you can fart to your heart’s desire.
The one thing Cersei didn’t count on, though, was her own son Tommen taking Margaery’s death so hard. Cersei kept him away from the Great Sept to keep him alive, but that didn’t last long; distraught at the news of his wife’s demise, he threw himself out the window. And unlike Bran, he didn’t survive! Cersei was left to mourn the death of another son. Gee, it’s almost as if the gods don’t approve of a woman bearing her own brother’s children.
Back at Riverrun, Jaime and Walder Frey celebrated their victory over the Blackfish, and it seemed to dawn on Jaime that he’s associated himself with a real piece of human garbage. Luckily, that human garbage finally got taken out to the curb by Arya, who disguised herself as a sexy servant girl to sneak into the Twins. She served up her vengeance Scott Tenorman-style, killing Walder’s sons and feeding them to the old guy in a meat pie before turning her sword on him.
And who might be the next name to get crossed off of Arya’s kill list? Oh hi, Cersei!
Also, one of the longest-running romances on Game of Thrones — there aren’t too many of those — died this week as well, with Daenerys ordering her man candy Daario to stay in Meereen while she sails off to conquer the world. He protested, insisting that he loves her, but she held firm. She even told Tyrion later that she “felt nothing” while dismissing him. Leave the lovey-dovey stuff to Sam and Gilly, Khaleesi; you’ve got seven kingdoms to run.
Who Should’ve Died?
This is tough: As with last week’s episode, nearly all of the major characters who died this week had it coming to some degree. Margaery was manipulative. The High Sparrow was annoyingly haughty. Tommen wasn’t fit to run Westeros anyway. And Walder Frey, of course, was human garbage.
But one evildoer managed to gallop away with her life intact: Melisandre, the Red Witch, who confessed to burning poor little Shireen at the stake when Davos confronted her about it.
Jon Snow wasn’t happy with her, but she convinced him to let her live. As she pointed out, he’d still be dead if it weren’t for her and her Lord of Light. But he did expel Melisandre from the North, with Davos promising to kill her himself if they ever cross paths again. We have a bad feeling we’ll be seeing her again, and a few more innocents will die at her hand, before somebody rips that magic necklace off of her and she withers away into dust in front of our eyes.
And there are plenty of villains still left out there: that gasbag Euron Greyjoy, for one, along with Cersei and her undead bodyguard Zombie Mountain. Looks like Daenerys is setting sail to take care of Euron first before heading to King’s Landing to battle Cersei for the Iron Throne…that is, if Arya doesn’t get to Cersei first. The chess pieces are slowly but surely moving into place for the ultimate showdown. When does next season start again?